Summary and book reviews of Long Story Short by Siobhan Parkinson

Long Story Short

by Siobhan Parkinson

Long Story Short
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Jun 2011, 160 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

From Ireland's first laureate for children's literature comes a story of abuse and neglect told with sincerity, heart, and a healthy dose of humor.

Jono has always been able to cope with his mother's drinking, but when she hits his little sister Julie, he decides it's time for them to run away. Told in Jono's funny, self-conscious voice, the layers of his past and the events of his escape are gradually revealed. Amusing and touching but never sentimental, Siobhan Parkinson is a well reviewed middle-grade author who now turns her considerable skill as a writer to a young adult audience.

1

My grandmother died.

I know this is not what you would call a dramatic opening. It's what happens to grandparents. They get old (jeez, they are old to start with, or they wouldn't  begrandparents, would they?); they die. (My grandfather died too, actually, but that's another story.)

Mr. O'Connell, who is my Creative Writing teacher, which is to say he's my English teacher, but he is into Creative Writing (capital letters deliberate)—he would say, Not intriguing enough, Jonathan. You need to hook your reader.

But, frankly, I couldn't be bothered with the hooking part. See, I don't think you need to start on the premise that your reader (if you have one) is a fish.

There used to be a song about that, Gramma used to sing it, about how uneducated fish are, how they can't write their names or read books—which may or may not have been put in for the rhyme with brook. That's where the illiterate fish in question lives, allegedly. ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Siobhán Parkinson has written a tight, funny, and heartbreaking story of one boy's determination to keep his ever-dwindling family - which ultimately consists of his sister and himself - together. This is at the heart of Jono's voice. This is what makes his story so believable: his unwavering love for Julie. Long Story Short is a perfect middle grade and young adult read. Clearly told from within an Irish landscape, it is universal both in its humor and drama.   (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).

Full Review Members Only (519 words).

Media Reviews

Horn Book

The brief, tightly structured novel is suffused with Jono’s desire for a Happy Family, but Parkinson is too good a writer to settle for an easy, happily-ever-after ending. She does, however, allow readers a credible hope in Julie and Jono’s future.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Unassumingly slender, Long Story Short packs a serious wallop... [the] story is wrenching, but whose manner of telling it is disarming, honest, and often hilarious.... Don’t miss this one.

Booklist

If the story - filled with flashbacks - is occasionally a bit slow paced, Jono's realistic first-person voice holds the reader's interest, and the setting is as vivid as the boy's briskly vernacular language.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Jono's voice is lively and individual... an engaging narrator and a stand-up guy in a tough situation.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. [A] deeply affecting story about what can go wrong when adults fail children and the choices available to them are all bad.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Siobhán Parkinson

Siobhán Parkinson On May 11, 2010, Siobhán Parkinson (pronounced sh-vawn) became the first Irish Children's Literature Laureate (aka Laureate Na nÓg) ever. (Na nÓg is an Irish term meaning "the young" or "young people"). Held for two years, the main purpose of the position is to expose youths to good, high quality children's literature and to weave it into Ireland's culture. Siobhán said of what she hopes to achieve:

"[That] every child in the country has access to a nice, bright, warm, cheerful, comfortable library, where they can go and find the books that will open their minds and bring them into wonderful imaginary places. That sense of excitement and joy about books I want every child to have... I believe that children's ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Long Story Short, try these:

  • The Golden Day jacket

    The Golden Day

    by Ursula Dubosarsky

    Published 2015

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    When their teacher goes missing during an outing, eleven girls grapple with the aftermath in this haunting, exquisitely told psychological mystery.

  • Zebra Forest jacket

    Zebra Forest

    by Adina Rishe Gewirtz

    Published 2014

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    In an extraordinary debut novel, an escaped fugitive upends everything two siblings think they know about their family, their past, and themselves.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...

First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.